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I just figured something out

elisem wrote a post about envy and competition and comparing oneself to others.
http://elisem.livejournal.com/1745373.html

The gist of my comment there:
For me, envious comparison is a depression symptom, so when I read analyses of why it's not a good idea, even though I agree with them, I get the same feeling that I get when people tell depressed people to just cheer up.

Competing and comparing in and of themselves aren't bad, IMO. The problem is when they aren't consensual. Either because they pop into a person's head when the person doesn't want them, or because a person -- or a group or a whole society -- is trying to force another person to participate in them.
Going to Wiscon seems to have kicked me out of depression (yay!), so I am seeing "firecat's depressed brain" and "firecat's not-so-depressed brain" pretty clearly right now. When I am not depressed, I respond to people doing cool things with "Cool!" When I am depressed, I respond "That's cool, and I want to do something cool and I can't because nothing I do is ever cool, so I suck and I'm mad that they can do it and I can't." (For me, fortunately, this no longer leads into "And I hate the person." It has done so in the past though.)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/776714.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
caprine
Jun. 3rd, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
That is a really good point. I think I can use that difference in response to coolness to gauge my depression -- which has settled into a low-grade form that can be hard for me to notice.
graymalkin13
Jun. 4th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
I get the same feeling that I get when people tell depressed people to just cheer up.

Hell yeah.

Going to Wiscon seems to have kicked me out of depression (yay!), so I am seeing "firecat's depressed brain" and "firecat's not-so-depressed brain" pretty clearly right now.

That is so wonderful!

I'm glad you're having these insights.

sophy
Jun. 4th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
I can relate to this. It's also the key to my imposter syndrome where what other people do is so cool and I can't ever be that cool and they clearly will never like me so maybe I should just sit quietly over here and not even try to contribute. WisCon tends to both bring that out of me (so many cool people!!) and help me get over it (I'm allowed to be a panelist! cool people talk to me! and add me on social media sites!) - it's a freaking seesaw.
firecat
Jun. 4th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
I know. This year I didn't feel as cool as everyone else, but that didn't bother me. It was like there was enough cool to go around. Also I assigned myself a Job (taking detailed notes in panels).
sophy
Jun. 5th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
I really like the idea of enough cool to go around. I kept singing the lyrics of Dar's As Cool As I Am to myself:

"And then I go outside to join the others, I am the others,
Oh, and that's not easy, I don't know what you saw, I want somebody who sees me,
I will not be afraid of women, I will not be afraid of women."
elisem
Jun. 7th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
I love that song so much, for all sorts of reasons. Your comment adds one more, because yeah.
sophy
Jun. 7th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Yea, it just gives me that feeling of ... if not belonging, then at least knowledge that I Can belong, you know?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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